Lychee Martinis hit peak popularity when Kristina Magro, now chief cocktail evangelist at the craft beer–focused Lone Wolf Tavern in Chicago, worked behind the bar of a big-box steakhouse back in 2010. Once armed with Giffard Lichi-Li, “I was really excited to get another crack at it,” she says. Lychee in its natural form is quite sweet, but Lichi-Li “is really quite delicate,” says Magro. “It’s not cloying or viscous—less syrupy than bright and floral.” A longtime fan of “50-50” Martinis, Magro combines the liqueur with an equal portion of manzanilla sherry, introducing a savory element to one half of the mix. For the opposing half, she goes with Germany’s Monkey 47 gin, whose complex botanical mash, far from “a juniper bomb,” provides an appealing backbone.
- 1 ½ ounces Monkey 47 gin
- ¾ ounce Lustau Manzanilla Papirusa
- ¾ ounce Giffard Lichi-Li
- 1 dash absinthe
Garnish: fresh lychee
- Rinse a chilled martini glass with absinthe and set aside.
- Combine all remaining ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice.
- Stir to combine.
- Strain into Martini glass
- Garnish with fresh lychee.